I. The Names. It is called in Greek, by Galen, and Paulus Aegineta, Σμιλαζ (...); in Latin, Smilax Laevis: it is called Laevis or Smooth, because the Stalks and Branches have no prickles at all. Pliny lib. 21. cap 5. calls it Convolvulus, and Campanella, Convolvulus albus, also Funis Arborum: others call it Volubilis, also Volubilis communis: and in English, Bindweed, White Bindweed, and the Greater Bindweed.
II. The Kinds. Of the Bind-weeds we have to treat of in this Work, there are chiefly three,
- 1. The Common great Bindweed, as also the Less aforenamed, of which in this Chap.
- 2. The lesser Blew Bind-weed.
- 3. The Black Bind-weed. Of which in the two next.
III. The Description. The Root is whitish and small, of the largeness of Quitch-Grass, or something bigger, running much under ground, and shooting forth again in several places: it lives under ground all Winter, and shoots forth a fresh every Spring, and yelds Milk, being broken. From this Root springs up slender winding Stalks, which run up, and wind themselves upon hedges, bushes, or what is next it to catch hold of; and if there is nothing for it to climb upon, it runs it self along upon the ground, especially on the banks of dry ditches. The Leaves are divers and large, growing severally on the Stalks, somewhat long, and pointed at the further end, and parted into two parts or points at the broad part next to the Stalk, making it seem almost three square, being smooth, and of a pale green colour, yielding a milk, being broken, but not so plentifully as Scammony. At the Joints with the Leaves towards the tops of the Branches come forth large White Flowers, in fashion of a Bell, without any cut or division in them; which being passed off, there comes forth round skinny Husks, or Heads, containing within them many small blackish Seeds, and almost three cornered. This Great Bind-weed is so like unto Scammony, that excepting the largeness of the Roots, and the greater force in purging, which may both of them proceed in part from the Climate, one would think it to be one of the kinds of Scammony, whose many slender winding Stalks run up, and wind themselves upon whatever stands next, or near to them.
IV. The Lesser is like the Greater in most respects, except the Magnitude.
V. The Places. It grows throughout this Kingdom, near hedges and dry ditches, and other like places.
VI. The Times. It Flowers with us in June, July and August and the Seed is ripe in some small time afterwards.
VII. The Qualities. It is hot and dry in the first degree: Vulnerary, Arthritick, and a little Cathartick.
VIII. The Specification. It is peculiar for wasting and discussing Tumors.
IX. The Preparations. You may make therefrom,
- 1. The inspissate Juice.
- 2. the liquid Juice.
- 3. The pouder of the Leaves, Flowers, and Roots, or of the inspissate Juice.
- 4. The Balsam.
- 5. The Cataplasm.
- 6. The Distilled Water.
X. The inspissate Juice. Being dissolved in Wine, it makes an excellent Wash to cleanse old Sores, filthy, putrid, and running Ulcers, and hollow Fistula's, inducing them to a speedy cure.
XI. The liquid Juice. Mixed with Red Wine, it is a very good thing for a sore Mouth, and is of use to heal Cankers in the Mouths of little Children: and if Childrens Feet, who are usually troubled with Chilblains or Kibes, be washed often herewith, it perfectly cures.
XII. The Pouder of the Roots, Leaves, Flowers, or inspissate Juice. It admirably cleanses and heals old, rotten, and stinking Ulcers: and where the Bone has been putrified, it has perfectly cleansed the Ulcer, dried the Bone, and in a little time scaled it, and afterwards by the continual application, it has covered it with Flesh, incarnated the Ulcer, and in a little time healed it: I speak this by great experience: One time it happened, that a Youth who had Kibes in his Feet, and so much corrupted, that the Bone it self was putrified; by the sole application of this powder, dry, upon the Ulcer, I cleansed it, scaled the Bone which was black, and afterwards incarned and healed the Ulcer, beyond the expectation of any one that then saw it.
XIII. The Balsam. It is singular good for the curing of Wounds, but chiefly of old and putrid Ulcers, and especially of those Ulcers which arise from Kibes in Childrens Feet, or from Tumors in the Kings-Evil.
XIV. The Cataplasm. Being made of the green Herb, and applied to the grieved place, it wastes, dissolves, or discusses Tumors or Swellings, as Galen saith: I know it to be excellent to discuss Chilblains in Childrens Feet.
XV. The Distilled Water. It is a good Cosmetick, and as some say, good against Freckles, Pimples, Scurf, and other defilements of the Skin: it takes away Tanning, Sunburning, and redness of the Face and Hands: and this it does more especially, if it is mixed with a small quantity (some say, equal parts) of Vinegar, or Juice of Limons.
Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Nick Jones.